Term: Polished concrete

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History and Types of Polished Concrete
– Oldest known form of polished concrete discovered in Jericho, dating back to 7000 BC
– Polished concrete floor found during bulldozing for a new motor speedway
– Concrete samples analyzed in a laboratory, dating back to 7000 BC
– Process of polishing concrete is similar to sanding wood
– Polished concrete floor installation categorized into new floors and retrofit floors

New Floors
– New floors require a mix design of concrete with 3500 psi or higher
– Concrete should be poured full depth and professionally finished with power trowels
– Concrete should be cured with water for seven days before polishing
– Decorative aggregates can be added to create different aesthetic appearances
– Finished surface should have a high FF (floor flatness) level for optimal polishing

Retrofit Floors
– Existing concrete can be polished if it’s in good condition
– Poor condition concrete can be cut or ground to feature natural aggregate
– Very poor condition concrete can have a topping slab added on top
– Voids, holes, cracks, or imperfections may require grouting and patching
– Surface may require high maintenance and reapplication of a concrete guard

Diamond-Polished Concrete Process
– Process involves at least six to twelve steps of grinding
– Initial grinding starts with a coarse diamond and finishes with finer grits
– Densifier is used to harden the concrete surface during polishing
– Grouting chemical may be used to fill holes or imperfections
– Concrete can be finished with a natural-look impregnating polish guard

Advantages, Disadvantages, and Damage/Degradation
– Polished concrete is a sustainable design flooring option
– Low-maintenance and easily cleaned
– Non-slippery due to high coefficient of friction
– Dust-proof, minimizing dust mite and allergen problems
– Reflective, reducing lighting needs and improving natural lighting

– Life of polished concrete depends on usage
– Network of fine hairline cracks can occur
– Degrades in quality with heavy usage

Damage and Degradation:
– Development of rough patches on the floor
– Formation of very fine hairline cracks
– Rough patches can develop into potholes
– Hairline cracks join to result in a damaged floor
– Initial rough and whitish patches can occur

Polished concrete (Wikipedia)

Polished concrete is a multi-step process where a concrete floor is mechanically ground, honed and polished with bonded abrasives in order to cut a concrete floor's surface. It is then refined with each cut in order to achieve a specified level of appearance.

Concrete floor polished with 1800 grit

This process also includes the use of a penetrant chemical known as a hardener. The concrete densifier/hardener penetrates into the concrete and creates a chemical reaction to help harden and dust-proof the surface. During concrete polishing, the surface is processed through a series of steps (in general a minimum of four grinding steps of processing is considered polished concrete) utilizing progressively finer grinding tools. The grinding tools are progressive grits of industrial diamonds in a bonded material such as metal/hybrid/resin often referred to as diamond polishing pads. Polished concrete is a "green" flooring system and LEED approved. Concrete is not considered polished before 1600 grit, and it is normally finished to either the 1600 or 3000+ grit level. Dyes designed for concrete polishing are often applied to add color to polished concrete as well as other options such as scoring, creating radial lines, grids, bands, borders, and other designs. Any grinding under 1600 grit is considered a honed floor.

Polished concrete

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